30 March 2018

Splash - March 2018

The splash for March 2018 was taken in the parking lot of a Royal Farm store in Easton, Maryland.  Why, you may ask, did we take a splash at night in a gas station parking lot?  Good question.  It's all about Rachel. 
Rachel and Evan are leaving us.  They decided to move back to Arkansas.  If you follow our story, or know us, you may remember that Rachel did not move with us when we moved from Arkansas to Maryland in May of 2017.  She and Evan decided that they would stay in Arkansas.  Then, they moved here in July of 2017.  They lived in our basement and found jobs and friends, and the one thing they did not find was school.  So, they rented a house in Beebe, Arkansas with Grace, their friend, and decided that they would go back to Arkansas and back to ASU (Arkansas State University).  On March 8, at about eight o'clock in the evening, their car (which they bought just the week prior) was all packed and they were ready to go.  Samantha was working as a temporary nanny for a family in Wye Mills, so we went to the car dealership in Easton to get Rachel's spare tire, then to Royal Farms to unpack and repack the car.  See?  It all makes sense now, right?

I wanted one last splash of all five of our babies together.  This shot completely obscures Josephine's face, but, those smiles and that happy look on Rachel's face, well, that's the moment I want to remember.  The five independent people that James and I brought into this world actually love each other and want to be together and they will not have that for a while.  Rachel is making plans to come east for Samantha's birthday in July and we will get out to Arkansas too; soon, I hope.

Rachel will find her way.  I have no doubt.  She doesn't always do things my way, but, she knows that she always has a home with us and we are behind her one hundred percent.  We raised our kids to think for themselves, to solve the problem, to learn, to laugh and to be happy.  Rachel is on her way.  She will find it.  Here's to wide open spaces.  Go get 'em Rachel - set your alarm clocks and text your mother.  She misses you.

23 March 2018

JMichael in Little Leaugue

JMichael has his birthday in February, so for years now, we've been telling him that soccer starts again after his birthday.  Well, not in Maryland.  There is no spring soccer season here, simply because lacrosse kinda takes over life in the spring for most athletes.  JMichael could have played lacrosse, but, that seems too new and there were pads and sticks involved, so he decided against.  Instead, he is now in his first season of little league baseball - and he loves it.  He plays with kids in his class at school, and there are about six teams of boys his age in the county.  He is a Galena Lion, and he can't wait for practice twice a week to turn into games.  He's watching the Orioles on tv and using words with new meanings - steal, hit and pickle - are all new again.  This should be fun!  Go Lions!

14 March 2018

Rachel is Twenty

I know every parent feels this - time goes by too quickly; I wish she was still three and reaching for my hand to cross a street; where did all the moments go?  I can still hear her laugh, her morning sneezes, her song coming from the shower.  I hope I always will.  Today the baby who made me a mom is twenty.  Twenty.  Happy Happy Birthday Rachel Mae.

Rachel is - above all else - her own person.  I am proud of that person.  She is the Miss Independent of our family.  She is opinionated, capable, curious and fearless.  She is comfortable singing on stage or comforting a crying child.  She is the second mother of our family, ready to run an errand, make a meal or tell her siblings what to clean up and how.  She can draw; she can sing; she loves music and sleep and she gives me a good run at chess.  The price of all this independence is that she is not always around.  She is doing her thing and she is making her way.  We love you and miss you.  Happy Birthday Rachel Mae.
Arby Girl, RaeMae, Coccinelle
Obligatory fingers poses - you may be an adult, Rachel, but, you know that Mom still needs tradition!
The pecan pie is another tradition.  Rachel spent her 16th, 17th and now her 20ieth birthdays away from home.  I have managed each time to have a pecan pie delivered to her.  You should always have your favorites on your birthday.  Love you, Rachel, and thank you, Krista (this year's pecan pie fairy)!!!

11 March 2018


I had to get a picture of this mailbox which is out on a country road near where we live on the Eastern Shore in rural Maryland.  It is simply brilliant.